Sinixt Nation News

Statement of Sinixt Elder, Ed Banning, Vallican, B.C., Blockade Warrior (1989)

October 15, 2016, 2-7 PM, Inchelium Community Center


Over the last few years, in Vallican, at our Sacred Village Site protected by a blockade beginning in 1989, what is left of the Sinixt Village Site Caretaker has worked to senselessly to disrespect and block the work of Marilyn James, our Vallican Site-Sinixt Elder, storyteller, and career educator.  


The H’a H’a Tumxulaux (Sacred Land) Program

Marilyn James, Kathryn McCooeye and Nathan Robinson

Congratulations, Marilyn, on your honor, your leadership, your persistence in the face and jaws of extreme personal and anti-Indian adversity, your dignity, your integrity; for your successful development of Sinixt-based curriculum, highlighting your life’s work in testimony, and for your vast network of supporters and contributors to Sinixt First Nation “Sacred Land” profiles.

Charges Laid In Lemon Creek Fuel Spill

Lemon Creek sign and creek

Thank you to everyone who wrote letters, to the media who covered the story, to West Coast Environmental Law, Lawyers Jeff Jones and Lilina Lysenko, Otto Langer, Fisheries Biologist and to the wisdom of the late Sinixt Elder Eva Orr, whose wise words, "Never Give Up" are an inspiration to those of use engaged in social and environmental justice.


- Marilyn Burgoon

Three years after a tanker truck spilled jet fuel into Lemon Creek prosecutors have approved charges.


LETTER: Indigeneous Protocol Should Name Sinixt

Gabriel Keczan says it's commendable that Nelson city council has a new First Nations protocol, but he feels it should acknowledge the Sinixt by name.— Image Credit: Nelson Star File Photo

Re: “Aboriginal protocol is weak


I am writing to thank K. Linda Kivi for her letter. I appreciate her words on the weakness of Nelson’s aboriginal protocol with regards to our presence, as Canadians, in these unceded Sinixt territories.


LETTER: Aboriginal protocol is weak

The City of Nelson’s aboriginal protocol does the Sinixt a disservice, K.L. Kivi writes. Pictured is former Sinixt spokeswoman Marilyn James. — Image Credit: Catherine Fisher Photo

Re: “Nelson adopts aboriginal acknowledgement


If truth is the first step toward reconciliation, then in 2016 on the 60th anniversary of the declaration of extinction of the Sinixt/Arrow Lakes people for the purposes of Canada’s Indian Act, we in the West Kootenay are still far from our goal.


Public Notice: RE: Mt. Sentinel Access 2014, February 01

PUBLIC NOTICE: (Updated Feb. 12 2014)

Re: Mt. Sentinel gate access and restrictions

The Sinixt Nation has been present at the Mt. Sentinel roadway all week with no communications from any contractors or Ministry representatives. We have placed a combo lock on the gate until further notice as a result of the lack of communications.

Any water-users, firewood gatherers, and other community members who maintain cultural relationships with the area who requires access can contact

Sinixt Nation letter to BC Minister Of Environment in Regards to the Lemon Creek Jet-Fuel Spill

To: Mary Polak, Minister of Environment,

Telephone: 250 387-1187
Fax: 250 387-1356


Date: August 2nd 2013,


RE: Human health in Sinixt territory especially the Lemon Creek area of the Slocan Valley BC.


We thank the Ministry of Environment for replying to our July 31st 2013 email in regards to the recent “Lemon Creek Fuel Spill.”


Further to the verbal permission granted by our Chief to the Ministry via telephone, Sinixt Nation gives our blessing to the Ministry to take all necessary requirements to clean up the the said fuel spill in the most efficient and expedited manner.


We of course require staff working on the clean up effort to be informed of the archaeological and cultural use areas of Sinixt Nation and to be conscience of artifacts and burial remains in certain areas along the Slocan River, Lemon Creek, and Kootenay River. Assistance in these regards from the Archaeological Branch and Sinixt Nation could potentially be available in regards to these efforts.


As suggested we attended the August 1st 2013 Ministry of Forests, Lands, and Natural Resource Operations (MFLNRO) Fire Service community update in Winlaw BC in regards to current wildfire on Perry Ridge.


Chief Bob Campbell of Sinixt Nation was recognized and introduced to all in attendance by Walter Popoff, the Central Kootenay Regional District Director for the region and we received some information by Fire Service staff, including Doug Smith the current acting incident commander.


The MFLNRO Fire Service staff did the best that they could do to inform the local community in regards to the wildfire and the operations. Staff also did their best to inform Sinixt Nation and local residents of the MFLNRO Forest Service's use of possibly tens of thousands of gallons of jet-fuel laden water from the Slocan River to battle the said wildfire and the “substantial amounts” of retardant used to fight the wildfire on our sacred mountain slhu7kin/Perry Ridge.

Sinixt Nation needs your support!

Sinixt Nation is being threatened with "Trespassing on Crown Land" by the Ministry of Forest, Lands and Natural Resource Operations for establishing a Sinixt cultural encampment within Sinixt territory on slhu7kin/Perry Ridge. The recent treatment by the Ministry and the RCMP towards our concerns and matters is a continuation of the same inhumane processes that led to the extinction status of the Sinixt/Arrow Lakes Indian Band by Canada in 1956.

We are calling on everyone to come to Slhu7kin/Perry Ridge to assist Sinixt Nation with our cultural encampment on the ridge and to protect Sinixt human rights and defend our right to self-determination. Please join us to protect our cultural ways, the water, and all that is sacred.

Please Bring what you can. The camp is 5km up the Perry Ridge Forest Service Road near Slocan BC.

Contact us for directions or for more information. lim lim - lim limt - lim limt - lim limtDirections to camp

Timeline of events from Sinixt encampment on slhu7kin/Perry Ridge

This timeline of events from the Sinixt encampment on slhu7kin/Perry Ridge is subject to change... Dates will be updated and more information to be added. Stay tuned.

Prior to May 2013- British Columbia Timber Sales (BCTS) and the Province of British Columbia (BC) DO NOT hold consultations with Sinixt Nation over operations on slhu7kin/Perry Ridge after years of correspondence regarding slhu7kin/Perry Ridge, previous consultations, and Sinixt Nation involvement in the BC Ministry of Forests CORE planning table in the 1990's.

Sinixt Nation receives Notice of Trespass on Crown Land Orders

Trespass on Crown Land OrderOn July 16 2013,  Two RCMP officers, one verified as being from the RCMP “E Division” Major Crimes Section and two Ministry of Natural Resources enforcement officers come to “talk” to occupants of the Sinixt encampment on slhu7kin/Perry Ridge.  RCMP inform us that anyone blocking the road will be charged with mischief un

Sinixt Nation Press Releases

Notice: Press Release and Statement

Date: April 11, 2015

Source: Marilyn James, Smum-Iem

Touchstones Museum-Selkirk College Race To The Bottom: Anti-Academic achievement for Colonial Empire

Last Thursday’s event hosted by Touchstone Museum and Selkirk College is a disappointing, self-disclosing display of collusion in ethnic cleansing of Indigenous Language and a Peoples, Sinixt Nation Peoples.   

While the event was cited “to celebrate 35 years of Sinixt presence” in the Kootenays, the event excluded the very Sinixt People who have held the Sinixt presence in the Kootenays.   More needs to be explored about political motives in why a museum and a BC college would intentionally misdirect the Canadian public about regional Indigenous knowledge and culture.

Of primary cultural significance, the event sponsors importing false cultural information about Sinixt Peoples and Sinixt Territory, the very Territory within which this event was held.  Colville Confederated Tribes representatives incapable of featuring the very work of those Sinixt People who were excluded.

A paying community member of Nelson and vicinity attending a Touchstones Museum and Selkirk College event, you would think, would expect to be presented true depictions regarding the Sinixt Nation.  But who validates the authenticity of supposed true culture and language?

The language performed at this event by entertainment troupe Lorae Willey and Shelly Boyd, Colville Tribal members who claim Sinixt heritage, are trained speakers of the Nselcxin (Okanogan/Colville language).   On the other hand is Sinixt (Sn-selxcin) language, which is a distinct dialect, separate and apart from the Okanogan/Colville Salish language.

This cultural fact would have been expressed in a professional forum befitting a Museum and a BC College had not the sponsors featured an entertainment troupe, Colville Confederated Tribes representatives scabbed for, at best, was performance art, an insult to Sinixt Ancestors.  Prior to the event, a message was delivered by an event representative that a Sinixt Territory spokesperson occupying our Sinixt Territory was unwelcomed.

Still, it may have been commendable to have Salish speakers sharing their Okanogan/Colville language had it been disclosed honestly for that expressed purpose.   It is not, however, acceptable to feature the Okanogan/Colville language or any other language as Sinixt; such an act is that of shear cultural ignorance on the part of the entertainment troupe.     Would the public know the dialect difference?  I would venture the unsuspecting public would NOT.

It is very concerning to have public institutions colluding with public processes to maintain the extinction status of the Sinixt Peoples.  Make no mistake, Sinixt extinction enabled and facilitated by public entities is a continuing government exercise by BC and the Crown.

Colville Confederated Tribes representatives, now Selkirk College affiliates, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Okanogan Nation Alliance who are one of the several tribal groups benefitting from the maintained extinct status of the Sinixt Peoples.  Simultaneously, the Canadian government hands Sinixt resources and land to these other tribal groups, through the treaty process they have refused to accept, inclusive of the Sinixt land claim document filed in 2007.

In the full strength of the government policies of oppression of Sinixt Peoples’ in which the government demonizes us as “extinct”, it must be understood as attempts towards ethnic cleansing.  As ethnic cleansing goes, there are tools in the destruction of economic and political organization, with an intention of weakening the Peoples’ spirit and actual thriving capacity, including demonizing The Peoples.  These are the bases of Canadian and U.S. foreign policy, of which First Nations and Tribes are foreign nations according to each respective government’s own interpretation.  Keep in mind, boarding schools were and continue to be a more recent oppressive cultural destructive policy.

Government ethnic cleansing policies are disruptive to the respective First Nation and can cause disorientation in the communities.

Here are a few examples of present disorientation, now perpetrated by this Touchstones – Selkirk College event:  Cultural cannibalism is present in those poor souls who have gotten tired of the fight and have sold out to Colville Confederated Tribes, like Robert Watt.  Moreover, the real ethnic cleansing coup by the event sponsors was to get two Sinixt-claimed persons to commit cultural cannibalism as an entertainment troupe, each disassociated from academic and Sinixt reality, by coming into Sinixt Territory and present either intentionally or ignorantly, Okanogan/Colville language “as Sinixt”.  This is beyond sad.

Cultural cannibalism is when you’re supposed to be “tribal” and “celebrate” 35 years of work that you did not do and exclude those who did.  Sad that even though Robert Watt, was present as “their boy” at this event they didn’t even publicly recognize him; exclusion isn’t only about physical presence.

Cultural cannibalism is when cultural anomie arrives and First Nations People engage in foreign cultural practices such as substances addiction (like alcohol, peyote) in wanton abandon of the right behavior to of your own entire First Nations cultural community.   Both your own cultural community and the “other cultural community” rituals are damaged.  Many times with complete denial of damages to the very culture they are participating in (in this case, the depletion of the very peyote fields themselves), damages to self, damages to other participants, damages to community, and damages to the cultural community that is not in “the” place these ceremonies belong.

Cultural cannibalism is any settler person or institution who colludes, excludes, and deludes in the acts of genocide and human rights violation being perpetuated by government process.

A body of work has been attached to this press release that has had nothing to do with the Colville Confederated Tribes, Okanogan Nation Alliance or for any other purpose the to shed light on the continued genocide perpetuated by the Government, through maintained extinction of the Sinixt Peoples. The work stands for the autonomy of the Sinixt Peoples and Nation and nothing short of that is acceptable.

Please make your own contribution to end these acts of madness by colonial empires and ethnic cleansing.




Notice: Press Release and Statement

Date: April 12, 2013



Sinixt Nation has worked diligently over the past three decades to correct the 1956 Canadian government's extinction status of Sinixt people. The Crown has recognized Sinixt people as indigenous peoples of Canada (as a tribal group) but not as the Indian Act's defined term of “Aboriginal peoples of Canada” as presented in a document dated August 9th, 1995 and signed by then Indian Affairs Minister Ron Irwin which stated: “The Arrow Lakes Band ceased to exist as a band for the purpose of the Indian Act when-its last [registered] member died on October 1, 1953. ... It does not, of course, mean that the Sinixt people ceased to exist as a tribal group.”

The Indigenous People of the Columbia River Headwaters Are Not Extinct!


Sinixt Nation has acted in good faith to address the issue of our people being wrongfully extincted and whereas the Crown has not. Our most recent legal challenge against the Crown to protect Sinixt interests to cultural sites was struck down and resulted in the BC Supreme Court forcing the Sinixt people involved to pay for the court costs. We feel this is contrary to the obligations held by the Crown.


The Crown holds legally binding obligations under international law to recognize and promote the fundamental rights of all human-beings, including the economic, social, cultural, civil, political and religious rights of all Sinixt peoples regardless of the Canadian laws that exist such as the Indian Act,” said Sinixt Nation Headman Vance Robert “Bob” Campbell Sr..

Sinixt Nation launch massive land claim

By Aaron Orlando
A group claiming to be representatives of the Sinixt Nation have filed a writ of summons at the Nelson Court Registry claiming Aboriginal title to land starting in the vicinity of Revelstoke, extending south to the U.S. border, the peak of the Monashee Mountains in the west and the peak of the Selkirk and Purcell ranges in the east.
Filed on July 28, the writ gives the federal and provincial governments two weeks to file a statement of defence.
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